GSK settles New York lawsuit

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In what some perceive as an industry-changing precedent, GlaxoSmithKline will become the first major drug maker to post results of all clinical trials involving its drugs on its corporate Web site.

The move is the result of the company's settlement of a lawsuit initiated by New York state attorney general Eliot Spitzer, who sued the company in June for withholding negative information on its blockbuster antidepressant Paxil. "This settlement holds GSK to a new standard of disclosure about studies concerning its drugs, a standard that help ensure that doctors and patients have access to all scientifically sound information so doctors can prescribe appropriate medication for their patients," Spitzer said.

Spitzer predicted that other companies would follow GlaxoSmithKline's lead by posting clinical trial results on their Web sites. If not, Sptizer threatened more lawsuits, according to a New York Times report.

"By agreeing to release both positive and negative studies about the safety and efficacy of its drugs, GSK has set an example for the entire pharmaceutical industry," Spitzer said.

Eli Lilly has said it would create a Web site listing results of trials involving its approved drugs and Johnson & Johnson and Merck have said they are in favor of the concept of public database of trial results, according to news reports.

"We believe that GlaxoSmithKline's initiative to launch this register is a responsible step in insuring the transparency of our clinical trial data," Mark Werner, senior vice president for GlaxoSmithKline's U.S. legal operations, said in a statement released by the company.

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